The shooting death in Virginia of a reporter and cameraman on live television Wednesday morning shocked the nation and lit up social networks....
Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in North America as compiled by the Associated Press:
Donald Trump continues to lead the GOP presidential field in the polls, which means it’s time to start taking his ideas more seriously. One place to start is his argument that because he’s a billionaire who doesn’t depend on contributions from others, he’s somehow superior because he’s immune from political influence.
The argument plays into the current political frustration with Washington, D.C., but it is as self-serving as it is dangerous to democracy. What he’s really saying is that nobody who isn’t wealthy should be able to run for president because only the superrich can be untainted by political corruption.
But most politicians aren’t rich, which means they have to raise money from others. This has the benefit of testing the level of their support as well as forcing them to build political coalitions. The broader their support, the less likely any single donor or constituency would have inordinate influence.
The stolen base in the Trump argument is that if elected the other candidates would have agendas but he wouldn’t. The truth is that even if he never takes a nickel from a lobbyist, Mr. Trump will still be influenced by his largest campaign donor – himself. To say the least, he’s never been shy about pursuing his interests.
In business that’s fine and plastering his name everywhere has built a well-known brand and accumulated a fortune that may even be as large as he says it is. But it’s naive to examine his career and conclude that he lives only to serve others. It’s not clear to us why the agenda of one rich guy in Manhattan is superior to one that incorporates the views of a thousand rich guys across the United States.
Cool, composed and as forthright as ever, former President Jimmy Carter said in a news conference last week that, in the wake of a cancer diagnosis, he is “perfectly at ease with whatever comes.” The way Carter handled the news conference underscores the grace with which he has conducted his entire post-presidency, and only makes it harder for the rest of us to be perfectly at ease with the possibility of his death.
Carter at times has stirred controversy with his deeply held views on the Middle East and other global challenges. Yet even those who have found themselves disagreeing with him, as we have from time to time, have stood in admiration of the honorable life he has lived and the model post-presidency he has shaped. Carter has spent the years after his single term as president focusing not on constructing a lavish library-memorial, nor on earning millions through speechmaking, but on substantive, civic-spirited initiatives intended to improve the world in ways both big and small.
Now, as he begins treatment for a cancer that has spread to his brain, Carter again offers a model of quiet courage, neither fatalistic nor unrealistic, expressing more concern for his loved ones than for himself. We have no doubt that others facing illness will find inspiration in his example.
Marvin Gaye may have heard it through the grapevine back in the day. But today, it’s bad vibes from the Dark Web that have left Canadians about to lose their minds over relationships gone sour.
Along with the Super Bowl trophies and the roll call of Hall-of-Fame players, part of the mythology surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers is they are a professional sports franchise committed to doing things “the right way” – they want to uphold high standards of personal conduct, even as they pursue gridiron glory.
That’s a lofty goal, but it has, to use the line from “Hamlet,” been more honored in the breach than in the observance. In recent years, the Steelers’ organization looked the other way when linebacker James Harrison, a key player, was accused of hitting a girlfriend, and, more recently, running back Le’Veon Bell got in hot water for smoking marijuana while driving. Then, of course, there are the accusations of misconduct that swirled around quarterback Ben Roethlisberger earlier this decade. He was accused of sexually assaulting a college student in a Georgia bar, though no charges were ever brought, while a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her at a Nevada hotel-casino in 2008 was eventually settled on undisclosed terms.
Meanwhile, backup wide receiver Cedric Wilson – not exactly an indispensable part of the Steelers lineup –was immediately axed when he was accused of domestic violence in 2008. Disciplinary action, for the Steelers, sometimes seems to have been meted out depending on the abilities and marquee value of the players involved.
Which leads us to Michael Vick.
Steelers Nation was thrown into turmoil earlier this week following reports the Steelers signed the disgraced Vick to be Roethlisberger’s backup after injuries benched backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski for the entire season. You’ll recall Vick endured a precipitous fall from grace eight years ago when he was found to have been part of an interstate dog fighting ring that included the gruesome torture and killing of dogs. He was cut by the Atlanta Falcons, served close to two years in prison and lost millions of dollars in endorsement deals. He was , nevertheless, able to rebuild his career through stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Jets. Now a 35-year-old, his best playing days behind him, he became part of the Steelers organization.
On the one hand, there is an argument to be made that Vick made amends for his misdeeds, and people deserve a chance to start afresh after they were punished. And Vick will not be the Steelers’ leader, barring an injury that puts Roethlisberger out of commission. Most of his time will be spent watching the game from the comfort of the bench.
But the Steelers pursuing and signing Vick was an undeniable public-relations disaster. Although we are skeptical about the hue and cry of many fans they will burn their Steelers merchandise and never tune in to a game this season because Vick now wears black and gold –similar vows were made during the firestorm that surrounded Roethlisberger five years ago and promptly forgotten – it started the team’s season under a dark cloud.
And it underscores a potentially uncomfortable reality – the Steelers’ braintrust is not looking for paragons of chivalry, or to accumulate good citizenship badges, when they assemble a team. They’re not recruiting for the Knights of the Round Table. They want the “brand,” to deploy that overused term, to make money, and they want the team to win.
If bringing onboard someone who was viciously cruel to dogs is a way to accomplish that goal, then that is a price the Steelers are willing to pay. Cynical and opportunistic? Sure. But it’s the unvarnished truth.
There’s a growing list of reasons people who might have once visited moviehouses with some frequency are increasingly opting to wait for the DVD or on-demand release of new movies: Ticket prices that have reached $10 or close to it; boorish patrons who text and chat from the opening credits......